Voyager Models
Pz.Kpfw 38(t) Ausf.E/F
Voyager 1:35 Set # PE 35112
(for Tristar #35020)

Review by Terry Ashley
This set from Voyager Models is designed for the Tristar kit of the Pz.Kpfw.38(t) Ausf.E/F (kit #35020) and consists of four frets of etched brass, one fret of etched stainless steel for the intake mesh plus a turned aluminium barrel, five brass smoke grenades and a length of this wire and plastic rod.

As with previous Voyager sets the standard of etching is excellent with good relief where needed and clean crisp etching and the intake screen mesh being extremely thin and finely done due to the use of stainless steel which is harder than the usual brass as well as the usual bending lines to make the job easier.

The main etched feature is the complete fenders with separate fender supports to replace the kit fenders. You will have to emboss out the long raised ribs which can be done using a ball point pen or similar but a consequence of this process is the fender will curl or distort as you emboss the ribs and you need to flatten the fender again which can also reduce the embossing effect.

This occurs with all parts requiring this type of embossing and annealing the fender before embossing helps a little when straightening the fender but doesn’t reduce the deforming, using a hard or soft surface to rest the part on while embossing gives similar results. This is not just with this set but all sets from any manufacturer that requires this embossing and some effort is required to get results.

But moving on the edges of the fenders have small lips that are bent using a good etched bending tool and this helps keep the fenders straight as do the separate mounting brackets and to fit to the kit you have to cut off the locating strip for the kit fenders.

At the back are alternate mesh screens for the engine intakes that provide the two different styles seen on the mesh, one diamond shape and the other rectangular shape mesh with these fitting inside the etched intake frames provided.


The grills located under the lip of the engine access hatches are provided as finely etched parts with the correct rectangular mesh as do the Tristar etched grills and the actual grills. So why do you need the new grills? The only difference is they have notably finer mesh than the Tristar grills but if you aren’t showing the engine doors open this won’t be that much of an issue. One minor point with the Voyager grills is they are slightly too long and you will have to cut off about 0.5mm to fit into the recess on the kit doors.


The large smoke grenade rack is made up entirely of etched parts with the five brass grenades added along with the fine etched chains and small springs on each side which you make from thin wire. This builds into a nicely detailed box that simply replaces the kit plastic parts.

Also in etched parts is the typical perforated storage box with workable hinges for the door and the brackets for the jack added on top and again this replaces the kit box.

Other details for the hull include all the tool clips and brackets as well as a new spade head along with alternate tail light brackets and details for the early and late style light plus the spare track rack on the glacis and the aerial mount.

For the turret there are a couple of smaller roof brackets with the main update being the replacement aluminium barrel which has the muzzle slightly drilled out but only to about 2mm and you may want to drill this further for a better appearance.

As with previous 38(t) barrel determining the correct length can sometimes be a challenge if you don’t have an original to run a tape measure over and this is no different with four sets of 1:35 plans in the MBIPraga” book, the Panzer Tracts No.21-1 Staende mit Pz.Kpfw.Tuermen, the Tank Power Vol.XXI PzKpfw 38 (t) book and Ground Power Magazine #064 with all showing the barrel at different lengths?

Elsewhere in the MBI book is a scape illustration (page 77, not to scale) but showing that the exposed length of the barrel along the top is a fraction less than 1 meter which in 1:35 scale is 28.5mm.

So where does this leave the three plans? Those in the MBI book show a barrel length of 27.0mm (short by 1.5mm) which also means the plans don’t match information elsewhere in the book and the barrel is not the only discrepancy here with the hull length in the plans being 2mm shorter than the stated length of 4560mm, but that’s another story.
The Panzer Tracts plan barrel length is 30.0mm, the Tank Power plan barrel length is 29.25mm being the closest of the three at just 0.75mm longer and those in the Ground Power show 31mm for 2.5mm too long.

Back to the Voyager barrel, this measures at 31.75mm which given the information on page 77 of the MBI book is correct has the barrel 3.15mm too long but this can be rectified when fitting the barrel to the kit gun.

To fit the barrel to the Tristar kit firstly cut the plastic barrel from part B-16, then drill a 2.5mm (7/64inch) hole just over 3mm into the breech, this is almost the same diameter as the plastic part so take care to drill perfectly evenly, note the drill will force out the plastic but this isn't a problem. Then drill a small 1.5mm hole for the barrel pin and slip the barrel into place test fitting the mantlet to leave the required 28.5mm barrel length exposed. The mantlet (part B-17) then slips neatly into place over the barrel with a very snug fit and the remainder of the kit is assembled as per instructions.

Tristar part B-16 modified as per the text to leave the correct 25.8mm exposed.

This set provides many of the finer details plus the full fenders although these will need care when embossing the ribs and the rear engine intake grill adds a nice touch with the alternate mesh provided.

The rear smoke grenade rack is quite detailed but previous experience working with etched parts would be helpful with the barrel also requiring a bit of work to get the correct length but overall the set will add some nice details to the Tristar kit.

Recommended 7/10.

Also see the review for set #PE 35134 Pz.Kpfw 38(t) Ausf.G
See the 38(t) Subject Page for reviews of additional update sets for available 38(t) kits.

Etched parts
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Voyager Models
LT vz.38 P zKpfw 38(t)

MBI Publishing
ISBN: 80-86524-01-9

PzKpfw 38(t)
Tank Power Vol.XXI
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.241
ISBN: 83-7219-241-3

PANZER 38(t)

Ian Allen Publishing
ISBN: 071103091X

Pz.Kpfw 38(t)Ausf.A-D
in detail

Special Museum Line No.38
Wings & Wheels Publications
ISBN 80-86416-58-5

PzKpfw 38(t) in action
Squadron/Signal books #2019
Charles K. Kliment and Hilary L. Doyle.
ISBN 0-89747-089-3

Ground Power Magazine
#064 - 9/1999

Published by Delta Publishing Co.Ltd. Japan
German Light Tank 38(t)
Panzer Tracts No.21-1
Staende mit Pz.Kpfw.Tuermen
Panzer Turrets on Concreteand Wood Stands

Thomas L Jentz and
Hilary Louis Doyle
ISBN 0-9744862-6-4

Thanks to Voyager Models for the review set.

Page Created February 10, 2007

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